An Introduction to PhysioNet


Fri Jun 21, 2013


Roger G. Mark and George Moody
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Data Sharing





PhysioNet is a resource for biomedical research and development sponsored by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), two institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We seek to promote, catalyze and perform basic-to-bedside research in complex biomedical systems by: -Making physiologic and clinical data available in open Internet-accessible archives -Developing innovative open-source software for the exploration and analysis of physiologic data -Creating a multidisciplinary "laboratory without walls" to facilitate the discovery of basic and translational information in complex physiologic signals By freely disseminating large and well-characterized collections of data and related software, we aim to lower the barriers for researchers and students whose work requires these essential materials. Each month, about 45,000 visitors worldwide use PhysioNet, retrieving about 4 terabytes of data. Through open challenges, we seek to accelerate progress on specific unsolved problems that can be addressed using available data. To encourage preservation and reuse of data that may be difficult or expensive to collect, we provide protected data archives for investigators who agree to share their contents in the future. PhysioNetWorks workspaces are available to members of the PhysioNet community for works in progress that will be made publicly available in PhysioBank and PhysioToolkit when complete.



George Moody is a Research Engineer at the Laboratory of Computational Physiology at MIT. He has been continuously involved in the development of standard databases of physiologic signals for over 30 years, beginning with the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database and the earliest precursors of the WFDB software package in the late 1970s. He led the design and implementation of the PhysioNet web site since its beginnings in 1999, including the annual PhysioNet/Computing in Cardiology challenge series since 2000, and most recently the PhysioNetWorks facility for data sharing and collaboration.

Roger Mark is Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, and Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT. He remains active in the part-time practice of internal medicine with a focus on geriatrics, is Senior Physician at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His current research activities include “Integrating Data, Models, and Reasoning in Critical Care” and “PhysioNet”, both of which involve physiological signal processing, cardiovascular modeling, and the development and open distribution of large physiological and clinical databases.


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